With the failure of Congress and the president to come to an agreement on a budget, the federal government began a partial shutdown as the new fiscal year began Oct. 1. "Nonessential" federal workers have been furloughed, and many services Americans rely upon are affected.
But what are some of the things you won't be able to do? We've compiled a short list.
- You won't be able to visit a national park. Not only are the parks closed, but the National Park Service website has been taken offline. This includes monuments such as the Statue of Liberty, others in Washington, D.C., as well as parks across the U.S. such as Yosemite, which is celebrating its 123rd anniversary as a national park.
- No national museums either. Had you planned on visiting the the Smithsonian Institution this weekend? Think again. Although billed as the world's largest museum and research complex, including the National Zoo, its facilities around Washington, D.C., as well as two facilities in New York, are all closed.
- You won't be able to watch the panda cam! Thanks to the shutdown, your daily afternoon pick-me-up of watching baby pandas waddle around has been taken away. While some members of Congress joked that the National Zoo's panda cam live stream will be a casualty of the government shutdown, it actually is offline. If you have your heart set on watching animals in real time, the San Diego Zoo has several available to fill the void.
- No calling the Internal Revenue Service for free income tax help. "Hi, you've reached the IRS call center. Sorry we're not here to take your call right now; our government arm has been shut down." While this isn't the exact message, the Internal Revenue Service does have a recorded message indicating that all IRS offices are closed. At last check, the IRS website was operating.
- Good luck getting a new or replacement Social Security card. Want to replace your Medicare card? Sorry, you can't get that either. Thankfully, Social Security payments will continue as before -- at least for the time being.
- That first trip overseas may need to be postponed. If you'd planned on stopping by a local passport office to submit a new application, you're out of luck. While expedited passports already in the system are still being processed, new applications aren't being taken. You're stuck stateside till all this passes.
- No business loans from the Small Business Administration. Would-be entrepreneurs will have to look elsewhere because the SBA is one of the government arms that have closed.
- That research paper on Abe Lincoln will have to wait. All of the locations associated with the National Archives, including presidential libraries, are closed.
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